Lefty who?

This post is a memory of my first encounter with the name Lefty Kreh in the mid 1990’s.

Oh to be 23 again, nope. Not for me.  Except if I were in L.L. Bean wishing and hoping to win a door prize at the annual Fishing expo.  It was the year I was learning to fly fish and I had the essential outfit so far minus the waders and it was March.  The fishing season was upon us and I am so full of hope that I went to L.L.Bean not to buy waders but to win them. Seriously, I am that full of stinking hope at 24.  

I was teaching music for the first time in a long term sub position for a teacher that was on maternity leave and I was as grateful as a person gets.  I had earned paychecks before that I saved and paid for college with but NEVER any play money. Not a cent. This time, I could actually pay rent AND eat. Novel idea.  I had really taken a plunge when I bought the rod, reel, line 6 weight outfit and was looking forward to Maine’s opening day of fishing season on April first.

March is cold, and even though the old saying says that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, it often stays in the lion mode for most if not all of the month in Maine. In the March I describe it was a windy one with snow on the ground. As I ride in to Bean’s with my new fly fishing friends from the school that I work with I ask lots of questions about fly fishing and they tell me all they can to satisfy my curiosity.  When we arrive I tell them how much I want to win waders so we plan to meet back after the door prizes are drawn and drive back to Gorham.

I’m sure those friends tried to tell me that my chances were slim, but ever hopeful, or ever bent on what I have tunnel vision for, we stayed for the drawing with just a few people present.  I thought lots of people went for the same purpose as I but evidently more people go to L.L. Bean to spend money. Well, the drawing took place, and I won. I didn’t win waders and I was disappointed, but as my fly fishing friend Pat pointed out, only you won a Lefty Kreh fly.

“People collect those,”  He said.

“Hang on to that,” my friend told me.

I looked at it, flipped it over to see that it is signed, and wondered if I would take up saltwater fly fishing too so that I could put that fly to use.  

“Hey Pat, who is this guy Bernard “Lefty” Kreh?”  I ask.

Pat, like a good educator, gives that look that expresses, “there are no dumb questions,” raised one eyebrow, then looked as if to say, but REALLY?!? I dutifully put the fly in a special spot to hold onto like Pat said.  I put it in one of those, you know, one of those special places so you won’t forget where you put it in case you need it one day, places.  Yeah, I lost it.IMG-2202.JPG

I found it about ten years later, lost it again, but now have it in a box marked “Fly Fishing Treasures.”  I chuckle every time I see or hear Lefty’s name and think about that fly that I was disappointed in winning yet now treasure.  Funny thing about perspective- it changes.   

RIP Lefty and thanks for the memories, a token fly that gives me a point to reflect on as I grow as an angler, a fly tyer, but most importantly as a person.

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New Brachycentrus Fly – needs a name

I fell in love with this chimney built caddis house when I learned about them with my husband Eric doing research for his Anglers’ Entomology Podcast episode #21 about Caddisflies.  I wanted to find a way to imitate what you see in the first photo.  The Brachycentrus

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The real Brachycentrus

became my new quest to tie.  Most important characteristic to copy was the square chimney shaped housing.

Here’s how I did it-First, place glass beads, green and black , or just black or brown if you want, for the protruding abdomen and thorax/head onto the hook shank and form a base of thread to the rear of the hook.

The fun part next-take a thick turkey quill, cut and split down the middle.  The pith is then pressed in, forming a notch.  The hook shank is placed in that notch, with a piece of quill on either side of the hook, super-glued in.  I then use permanent marker to color the thread orange, adding dark brown and olive green spots randomly onto the orange thread.  That, wrapped around the quill, gives the square Brachycentrus case.   Then I use the turkey quill fibers, torn from the quill to give that little foot, as the legs.  Last I coat the thread body with a thin layer of a head cement to soak in.  I tried a thin layer of UV resin, but it made the case a round shape rather than keeping the square shape.

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Selene’s Brachycentrus

I still tossed those in my fly box but prefer the Veniard Cellire best.  If you have a clever name to suggest for the little introvert, send me a message.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tying Room Sanctuary

A couple of years ago I had a year to build an addition on our house to help blend our newly formed family now with three teenagers after having lived in Brunswick in a very small house.  I had owned a fly shop there in part to have a place to put my fly tying stuff and continue my connection with the fly tying community.  In my welcomed new life, Eric made room on the third floor for a new fly tying bench for me before we got married in 2015.  Then, I built the addition to the house giving us a new living room that fit the family, united us through shared decisions, work, and earned skills.  The oldest child was to get the large room above the living room until he was ready to move out then , mwahhaaaa, we were to take it over as a fly tying room.  The oldest looks like he is staying in the nest longer than we thought, so we moved him to the attic on the third floor last week and we moved in to the coveted fly tying room often referred to as our “couples cave.”

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Some may remember the photos I posted of the sad messy teens room as my “before” photos.  Not that the tying room isn’t filled with more stuff than he had, and well I have to admit, will more likely than not be just about as messy.  I mean, it’s filled with dead birds and animals.  Actually, I hope to write an article to share soon about how we manage so many materials and keep pesky bugs away.

Not included in the pictures of our new space yet are the comfy chair from which I sit and write this post.  This is a bonus gift we weren’t expecting since it wouldn’t fit up the narrow stairs to the third floor, but now Jackson the pooch can sit at my feet as I sip coffee and type away.  Also not shown is a really cool surprise I will share later that for now I will call a “Cabinet of Wonders.”

Enjoy the photos of a great space that I get to enjoy and can share with you.  May you take ideas from our space and include them in your own space.   I’ll add more as we finish the room.  Feel free to email if you have questions.

Hot, soooo Hot, its pyrographic

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There are some days when the everyone hits the like button and are generous with praise on Facebook. The day I posted the rod grip with the nymph on it was one of them.  Then I had an idea about not just burning bugs and flies onto new rod grips, but why not onto peoples favorite rods too.

Its easy enough to do- send me your rod butt and a photo of what you want me to burn on it along with the agreed upon price plus postage for me to return the rod to you.   It’s like ink for your rod butt!

I can invoice paypal or accept checks

I’ve been working on some more rod grips in the last week or so and have a show this weekend in  Bethel where I hope to get some feedback on them and a few orders.

I’m finding that they are taking me longer to do as I’m adding more detail to the images and using the whole cork so the cost is ranging from $50 for a single image to $75 for  full grip  coverage cost to the customer.

 

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Fly rod grip with nymph for a new fiberglas custom rod
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Brookie Skin
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Mayfly
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Mayfly laying eggs
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Gray Ghost
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